Dustin Johnson Driver Swing Analysis

Dustin Johnson's athleticism is the key to his incredible combination of power and accuracy

Dustin Johnson's athleticism is the key to his incredible combination of power and accuracy

Dustin Johnson Driver Swing Analysis

Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach Andrew Jones dissects some of the key positions in Dustin Johnson's driver swing to see what you can learn from the former world number one...

1 Address position

It might be the only static position in the golf swing, but you can clearly see just how athletic Dustin Johnson is from his address.

His stance is wide and his legs are strong – this creates a powerful base from which he can generate resistance against his upper body as he rotates into the backswing.

His ball position is in the classic left heel spot for a driver. This helps generate the correct launch angle and spin rate to optimise his club speed.

Johnson also looks perfectly balanced, with only a slight drop of the right shoulder – his arms hang straight down in a fairly central position.

Notice how he has a little tilt of the head to the right, something that assists him with his upper-body turn in the backswing.

2 The takeaway

As Johnson starts the takeaway, his arms and shoulders form a perfect triangle that he moves away from the ball.

This creates incredible width in the backswing and ensures his weight shifts onto his right side without swaying away from the target.

Notice also that he keeps his left heel firmly planted and restricts the amount of knee and hip movement.

This is the start of the resistance that is so crucial to generating impressive power.

3 Top of backswing

Here we see Johnson complete his upper-body rotation with a shoulder turn that is more than 90˚.

This requires immense flexibility, especially when you consider his hips and legs are in a similar position to address.

His hands are very high at the top and his left wrist is bowed so the clubface is facing up to the sky.

With the clubface ‘closed’, he is able to rotate aggressively with his body through the ball and hit it both long and straight without releasing the club.

By eliminating the need for any clubface rotation, he has become one of the most consistent drivers in the game.

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4 Delivering the club

The speed Johnson rotates through the downswing not only delivers power but is also essential to his accuracy.

Without the strong, speedy rotation of his torso back to the ball, his clubface would struggle to stay square, most likely closing down and resulting in pulls and hooks.

This picture illustrates the point perfectly.

His hips have cleared by the time the club reaches the ball, with his body rotation leading the arms towards impact, delivering the club square to the ball.

His preferred fade off the tee is easily repeatable with this kind of action.

5 Finish position

There is no doubt that Johnson’s work ethic in the gym helps him maintain the fitness levels and core strength required to sustain this incredible swing.

The excellent balance and stability you see in the follow-through position is testament to this.

He has completely unwound and delivered every last bit of energy efficiently and accurately through the swing.

Unless you are prepared to spend two hours a day in the gym with a personal trainer, his move is possibly not the one to copy.

However, if you try and replicate some of his excellent set-up fundamentals and his great balance through the swing, you could add distance to your game.

Analysis: Andrew Jones - Backyardgolf.co.uk

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV